VMD Technique Used to Trace Fingerprints on Fabrics

A new scientific research, done by the University of Abertay Dundee and SPSA forensic experts revealed that soon the fingerprint ridge detail and impressions from fabrics could be recovered using VMD (Vaccum Metal Disposition) technique.

Created On: Feb 1, 2011 16:00 ISTModified On: Mar 22, 2011 11:18 IST

A new scientific research, done by the University of Abertay Dundee and SPSA forensic experts on Vacuum Metal Disposition (VMD,)-that uses gold and zinc to recover the fingerprint mark-revealed that soon the fingerprint ridge detail and impressions from fabrics could be recovered.VMD is a highly sensitive technique already used to detect fingerprint marks on smooth surfaces such as carrier bags, plastics and glass. The research uses fine layers of metals to display fingerprints people may have left on fabrics, something which is more difficult to do with soft surfaces. The technique has been around since the 1970s and is used on many surfaces but was never widely used on fabrics.

Fingerprints have been used as a means of identification for over 100 years but to recover fingerprints from fabrics has always proven to be quite difficult.
Such an impression could help the police to frame a sequence of events and could be used to provide evidence in cases where someone was pushed and grabbed in a particular part of their clothing.

Vacuum metal deposition (VMD) is a well known technique for the development of latent fingerprints on non-porous surfaces. VMD has an edge over cyanoacrylate fuming, especially in circumstances where prints are old, have been exposed to adverse environmental conditions, or are present on semi-porous surfaces. In normal circumstances, VMD produces ‘negative’ prints as zinc deposits onto the background substrate and not the print ridges themselves.

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